Deanna Nowadnick:”…I know the important stuff’s on the inside, but honestly, I’m not so sure that the inside stuff’s any prettier. Perhaps I’ve been expecting God to act as my own fairy godmother, ready to pop into the scene any moment now with a twinkle in His eye and a wand in His hand. I’ve been waiting to be tapped ever so gently on the forehead and magically transformed into a loving, joyous, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, self-controlled delight in His life, adorned in a nice white ensemble, cute shoes, and fresh nail polish. In thinking that, I’ve not only trivialized God’s love and forgiveness, but I’ve missed the magnitude of His mercy that’s been shared with me over and over again. I’ve overlooked the fruit of His Holy Spirit that’s already a part of my own spirit in all that I do and all that I am.” p. xiii
My Review of Fruit of the Spirit: Reframing Life in God’s Grace
by Deanna Nowadnick
Ever gathered with good friends in someone’s living room for a Bible study, delved into matters of the heart, journeys in faith, and got to know one another on a deeper level? That’s how it is when you read Deanna Nowadnick’s book, Fruit of My Spirit. Her easy, honest, and humble style of writing invites you in like a good friend would open the door, hand you a cup of coffee, and say, “Come on in. Sit down. Let’s chat.”
Deanna’s sincere revelations of her “not so perfect” faith walk will have you saying aloud, “Me too.” Her sharing of how God has worked in her life, even through missteps and misdeeds, touches your heart as you laugh and say, “Yeah. I get that girlfriend.”
Talking to book is weird, no doubt, but that what happens. Deal with it. The author’s engaging style of writing will inspire readers to openly reflect on their own spiritual walk.
Personally, I’ve always considered the worst sin and entrapment happens when a Christian questions God’s ability to love and forgive them for whatever sins they become entangled in. Deanna’s transparent revealing and faithful perspective offers hope for those who experience these moments. She shows how God uses anything to bring about His purposes in our lives.
Deanna uses pictures to begin each chapter (a fruit image to relate each attribute to its Greek equivalent) and lovely hymn lyrics to end each chapter. Her delightful photos take us through thirty years of her marriage to her husband Kurt, and their sons, Kyle and Kevin. Rich in Biblical quotes and references and through stories of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, she allows readers to experience the enormity of God.
Five Questions for the Author
Holly Q.1: What inspired you to write this book?
Deanna A. 1: I did not plan to write a book. I just wanted my sons Kyle and Kevin to know how I met their father. They’re young adults now and some of the cringe-worthy details were beginning to emerge. I didn’t want the fact that they’ve been the benefactors of a beautiful marriage and a wonderful family to get lost in the giggles and groans of 40-year old memories. When I started writing, the chapter on Love went straight to the chapter on Self-Discipline. And by the time I was done with those two chapters, there was no stopping me. Even as I wrote, I had no idea where the book would go or where it would end up. I did know that by the time I got to the chapter on Patience, a theme had developed.
Holly Q. 2: Who did you write this for? Your audience?
Deanna. A. 2. Holly, I’m embarrassed to say that I did not think about my audience. As the stories came to mind, I just focused on getting the words down, still not expecting the whole project to become an actual book. Finally one day I said to anyone who’d listen, “I think I wrote a book.” Fruit of My Spirit has resonated most with us women, both younger and older, who can relate to those times in life when faced with questions about God, particularly our place in God’s family and God’s place in ours.
Holly Q. 3: What was the most difficult challenge in writing this book?
Deanna A. 3: My most difficult challenge was keeping God in focus as I wrote and published the book. I still have moments when I look back and ask myself, “Where did those words come from?” I knew that I’d been given a special gift and I wanted to make sure that I honored God throughout. As I said in the book, I have an ego the size of a mountain. I wanted to make sure that the book gave God the glory, not Deanna. And may I add, I continue to work on that!
Holly Q. 4: You included lyrics to beautiful hymns in the book. Why?
Deanna A. 4: Honestly, I think it’s not an overstatement to say that music defines me in so many ways. I play the violin during worship services, but trust me, I’m a struggling musician in many respects and not someone who should be amplified on Sunday morning! As I look back, I remember events and I remember songs. The hymns in the book represent special places, special times. I’m also part of the Rock-n-Roll generation, but that’s another story!
Holly Q. 5: Have you written other books? Any plans for another book?
Deanna A. 5: Yes, I’m working on Book 2. Signs in Life: Meeting God at the Corner of Grace and Mercy tells of those times when God has come alongside and guided, directed and turned me. The book is another collection of short stories, this time recounting when God has met me at life’s crossroads, when I’ve been “on point” with God, not because of anything I’ve done, but because a loving, gracious, merciful God has been there time after time, again and again.